Author: Heather Dixon
Release Date: March 27th 2012 (first published March 29th 2011)
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Read: July 27th, 2012
Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.
What I thought:
This book is apparently based off of the 12 princesses fairytale. I can honestly say I’ve never read or heard of that one before, and if I did read it I don’t remember it.
The 12 sisters all have names in accordance with the alphabet and their birth, Azalea being the oldest, Bramble the next and so on. Their mother is pregnant at the beginning of the book and dying, while the eldest sister Azalea is hosting the Christmas ball at their house. The King (her father) misses the ball to be with their mother, but she still dances the night away. They wake up the next morning to find out the bad news.
Their mother gives birth to another daughter, the 12th. In that time apparently it was custom to mourn for a year, all their clothes get dyed black, the windows are covered with dark cloth, all clocks stopped, and no going outside or any visitors. The children feel like they’re in a cage, and are especially upset because they can’t dance. The King eventually leaves for a war for a few months, and they are left alone with their caretakers. One night Azalea finds a secret door, that leads them all to a magical silver room, where they can dance to their hearts content. The Keeper of the place lets them use it as they wish, but there will be a price for it eventually.
The book itself was cute, but the first half of story seemed really slow. I kept waiting for something big to happen, but it just fell short and kept on going at the same pace. It does pick up and the end was awesome though, but that’s really late into the book. The girls themselves only seemed to care about dancing, and I understand that kids get bored when being locked in a house for a year, but if it’s your custom to do that they should have other things to keep busy. They do learn and are better at the end of the book though.
This book is good if you’re looking for an easy paced read or you love fairytale retellings.